Fundraising has gone on forever. Christopher Columbus got the Spanish monarch to fund his international cavorting. Insurance companies run based on a fund by which the many support the needs of few in times of personal upheaval. Charities have depended forever on the fundraising activities and churches have passed the plate around at collection time to collect funds.

In the internet age, like many other things, fundraising has changed completely. In the first place, it can now be quick. Monies can now be available to help with disasters and dreadful events in the snap of a finger.

Unexpected Funds

But funds occur in ways we never dreamed of before. In July 2018 a married man in a restaurant with his family casually groped a waitress as he passed her by. But this is 2018 – she grabbed his t-shirt and had her moment of a few words with him. The whole incident was caught on camera and went immediately viral. Support for the young woman was instant and widespread. The groper was charged with an offence and the evidence was incontrovertible.

There are many levels on which this is a great story, but the one of relevance here is the support for the woman came in the form of dollars. She was sweet enough to set up a funding page for a local animal shelter, but potentially there were enough funds to get her through college or pay off her debts and who could blame her if she had chosen those options.


When it comes to charitable donations our heartstrings get tugged and often we are offered something in return; payback, or at least thank you.

Another way the internet has changed the way in which funds can be generated quickly is the idea of crowdsourcing. Perhaps this could not have ever happened except in the post-dotcom era.

Everyone is aware Jeff Bezos is unimaginably rich, but there are millions of people who were in at the beginning of the technology waves and became quietly well off as a result. And you don’t have to be a Zuckerberg, Jobs or a Gates.

Crowdfunding works on this principle. Entrepreneurs come up with an idea they offer via the internet. Investors have the option to put cash into the venture in return for which they become a preferred customer or get some sort of payback, the point it the payback is has a bigger value than the investment. There is an element of speculation.

Finding New Ways to Raise Funds

Fundraisers now need to be creative, interesting, different. The telethon, massively innovative in its day, has fallen out of use. Now fundraisers have to find different ways of reaching people. Sometimes it is a question of repurposing older techniques.

Auctions have been around forever; back an auction with technology and suddenly their reach is broader, faster and stronger.

We can be sure fundraising will continue to change but ask yourself when was the last time you saw someone rattling a tincup?

Categories: Fundraising